Article by: Danielle Jarecha, owner of Mothercraft Herbal
I had my first baby, Arjun, at home with a nurse midwife. It had gotten really stressful at the end because I went past 42 weeks. Talk of possible induction started after 40 weeks.
At 42 weeks my husband Ravi and I wrote a letter stating that we miscalculated and in fact our due date was a week later. This released the midwife from any liability and she would still be able to attend the birth. We essentially lied! We felt we were doing something very wrong and scary but at the same time knew we were making the right decision for our family. The baby arrived the very next day in just 12hrs and we were so happy that we protected ourselves from “protocol.”
This time around I chose the same midwife but realized during the end of the 2nd trimester that it was no longer a fit for me, as the conversation of me going post date had already begun. I totally respect the midwifes concern and understand their responsibility legally but I also felt as though I know my body better than anyone else. Without having another midwife I decided to walk away. Scary, huh? My meditations became about going within and working with trusting myself even if I didn’t have support and asking for the right person to come along and hold space for the birth, in whatever way it presented itself. My prayers were answered, as always, and an amazing midwife appeared and happened to live right in my neighborhood. After our first meeting she said “you may be the type perfect to have an unassisted birth”…wow, she trusted birth and women as much as I did. Although, I knew I wanted support, I didn’t want to do it on my own. I wanted someone to hold space for me.
So there I went, I embarked on the most profoundly transformative experience of my life, thus far, with this beautiful traditional medicine woman, Terri Simmons, right by my side the whole way. Supporting me compassionately in every way possible. When I reached 42 weeks and 5 days I no longer knew anyone who had entered this rarely chartered territory. I was on my own, even though there was support from my husband and the midwife. Every woman who has had a baby realizes, at the point of transition, that it is up to them and only them! They have to walk through the fire and birth this baby, no one can do it for them. Well, in my case, going post date with both pregnancies, I entered that solitary space long before labor.
This “limbo space” as I like to call it, provides me with so much knowledge, wisdom and trust of the natural rhythm of a woman’s body and process. More importantly, it strips me of all attachments and expectations forcing me to surrender to the unknowing and the letting go which ultimately makes me present in the moment allowing what is to unfold! Realizing from it, that birth is a rite of passage and needs to be respected and honored as just that. This is a sacred process that should not be interfered with, unless medically necessary, and instead approached with humility. My evolution from Maiden to Mother has depended on this natural process. We don’t just receive this as a gift, this is earned. And, each woman has their own very unique birth process which contributes to their specific evolution, or karma. When we unnecessarily interfere with that, we are interfering with who they are meant to become and robbing them of a power that can’t be realized in any other way! Imagine if we just supported women and reminded them of their strength during these difficult times of surrender instead of trying to control an obviously uncontrollable process. Women would walk away from their birth experience empowered rather than feeling like their body failed them in some way. Sadly, the latter is more common.
I, thankfully, followed my intuition again and Nokomis Moon came rushing into the world at 43 weeks and 5 days in just under 4hrs, into my arms unassisted while my midwife held the space!!! Weighing just 6lbs just like her brother. I don’t remember Terri saying more than “come back to your center” and pressing on my hips but she provided so much more than that. Quiet and sacred is the only way to describe it! The process unfolded in the way it is intended!
We did a lot of emotional clearing those last days because there was so much fear programming with this 42 week marker, no matter how much I trusted. Terri came by daily to check my pulse(she reads fluid, placenta and baby this way) and listen to baby’s heart…all was perfect everytime! This was such a rollercoaster of self-discovery for me and I am so grateful to my meditation practice for keeping me grounded in truth, intuition and strength to protect myself. I am also grateful for a loving and supportive husband and midwife.
Being truly post date with both pregnancies(we knew conception dates) I know now that this is just how my body makes babies! We women are all so unique! I pray for the day when women are no longer being controlled and silenced and instead empowered and supported. I truly believe in my heart that this starts with birth. A return to honoring the Divine Feminine within us all!